Bathroom Reading: Good, Clean Fun

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If you've seen the stray advertisement above the urinal or behind the john, you know it's the wave of the future.

"From the time he wakes up to the time he goes to bed, the average consumer sees or hears 1,600 corporate messages," says advertising expert Mark DiMassimo.

"It's harder and harder to catch people at a moment when their guard isn't up and they're able to listen. For that reason alone, advertising in public restrooms can't be ignored."

Politics Goes Straight Into the Toilet

DiMassimo Brand Advertising ran ads for Crunch Fitness in New York. Ads above urinals in bars showed men how to do one-armed push-ups as they relieved themselves. Ads in ladies' rooms instructed women how to do a proper deep-knee bend as a way to hover over a toilet seat of questionable cleanliness.

Right now, perhaps only companies with strong stomachs and healthy senses of humor will take their ad campaigns into the toilet. But DiMassimo sees the day when politicians really take their campaigns into the toilet.

As a test, during the last presidential election, DiMassimo randomly placed written statements about Al Gore and George W. Bush in several New York City restrooms.

The results — 62 percent of folks remembered the exact message in the bathroom political ads, compared to only 16 percent who remembered advertisements on a billboard, he said.

Given the nature of the Bush-Gore race, can anyone say they were surprised? Read It and Wipe: The Toilet of the Future

Two Swedish inventors recently came forward with what they considered to be the public toilet of the future — a machine built into bathroom walls that prints out news on toilet paper for handy reading and wiping.

The paper would offer the latest news, sports and weather. And when you're done reading, you just flush the paper down the toilet.

The gadget really harkens back to colonial America, when newspapers and catalogs served as toilet paper. Perhaps that seems unpleasant, but when that wasn't available our forefathers were forced to use items like corncobs and sponges.